BUTTE — Whether it’s the football field, the soccer pitch or the basketball court, the time Trevyn Roth spends playing sports is more than about just having fun.
They’ve become a necessity. They keep him relaxed, focused and it’s looking more and more like the star placekicker and versatile soccer player will use them to go to college. Villanova wants him to come to their soccer camp, while he’s also heard positive feedback from Montana State for kicking.
But there’s another reason too. Roth suffers from both Tourette’s and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It doesn’t matter the sport, they’ve all become his refuge.
“Without it, I don’t know what I would do,” Roth said. “I would be kind of lost without it.”
A bright, humorous and easy-going young man, the Butte High senior tries not to take the disorders too seriously. He said while they were harder to manage when he was younger, it’s become easier as he’s gotten older.
Training and time have been the most important factors for the disorders becoming easier to manage, but it’s still something he has to overcome. People occasionally say something to him about it, but even then it’s another place his comedic side shows its face.
“People tease me about my Tourette’s sometimes, but I’m not one of those guys that’s going to break down over it,” Roth said. “I just tease them back. They’re like, ‘Oh you got Tourette’s? I’m like, ‘Yeah I got Tourette’s and it’s like ‘Oh, shoot’ and then they feel bad. And it’s like, don’t feel bad, I don’t care, it’s not a big deal, I don’t think.
“None of it’s a big deal to me.”
One thing that undeniably is a big deal to him, however, is soccer. Roth started playing at age four and it’s been in his blood ever since. He’s played numerous positions, but seems most comfortable at center back and midfield.
Moving to Butte ahead of his freshman year from around 30 minutes south of Salt Lake City, Utah, he quickly found himself as one of the better players on the squad.
“I like soccer a lot, I’ve been doing it my whole life and it’s hard not to love something you’ve been doing your whole life,” Roth said.
This season, with a young Bulldog squad around him, Roth played a lot of backfield. Butte has struggled on the pitch this year, but he still enjoyed his time playing.
“It’s just tough because we are so young,” Roth said. “My sophomore year I had a lot of fun, we made it to state."
His devotion to soccer kept him from trying football, but the gridiron was a place that always had piqued his interest. After Butte’s postseason soccer run in 2016 ended, Eric Zahler, the Bulldogs’ soccer coach that year, decided to move over to help coach the football team. It also was Roth’s chance to use his kicking skills off the pitch.
“He was like, ‘you should come kick, we don’t have a kicker.’ So we got the schedules fixed,” Roth said. “My junior year I became a kicker and here I am.”
Early during that junior season, star specialist and wide receiver Nathaniel Ferguson (now playing football at Montana) was injured, thrusting Roth into the starting role.
It was certainly nerve-racking for a player who had only picked up the sport months earlier.
“The first game … I did not line up right at all, but I was lucky enough to use my previous soccer stuff to put it through the uprights,” Roth said. “As the season progressed I got more confidence.”
That confidence turned into points. Roth hit 5-of-6 field goals and 16-of-19 PAT’s, ending the year third on the team in total points scored with 31.
While Roth has missed three games of the 2018 campaign (two due to soccer, one to injury), he’s hit both of his field goal attempts and 14-of-15 PAT tries. His long this season was a 38-yarder against Bozeman, but he feels his range extends much further.
In fact over the summer, he says he hit a 59-yarder while practicing and feels he can go around 50 yards consistently.
His kickoffs are nothing to be trifled with either. He’s averaging over 50 yards on 21 kickoffs this season and has four touchbacks.
“He’s a great athlete and he understands the game,” Butte head football coach Arie Grey said. “His ball placement on kickoff is huge for us … his operation time is unbelievable and those two things, operation time on PATs and field goals as well as kickoff placement are huge for us.”
While Roth hasn’t had a lot of chances to kick field goals this season, having that sort of weapon on the bench is useful.
For example, in a one-point overtime win over Missoula Sentinel earlier this season, Roth kicked a 31-yard field goal in the first quarter. The Spartans eventually sprinted out to a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t a three-possession game as it could have been if the Bulldogs hadn’t been able to get on the board.
Grey feels comfortable going to Roth anytime Butte gets inside the 30-yard line, which is a major boon for the squad.
“To have the ability, really inside the 30, to get points is huge for us,” Grey said. “Having that ability to kick some field goals, some long ones, is great. We’ll hopefully have the chance for him to kick a 50-plus yarder this year because I know he can do it.”
For Roth, however, kicking has just been fun. He’d prefer to go to college in Arizona, California, or Utah, though would certainly be open to other places. It’ll likely be for soccer, but he hasn’t counted out football yet either.
He loves basketball, where he plays shooting guard, but it seems that soccer or football will be his future.
There’s a lot of moving pieces in play, but Roth has the grades and the talent to take things to the next level. He’s trying not to think about all that too much, instead trying to focus on one thing — converting every kick.
And for Trevyn Roth, who is simply thankful to be on the field, that’s more than enough.
“As long as I put it through the uprights everybody likes me, so, as long as everyone likes me I’m doing something right,” Roth said. “Fairly easy for me.”